In our churches today, Satan has entrapped us by getting us accustomed to gossip that it's nearly something to be expected, and we probably wouldn't admit it's gossip, because we all know how 'sinful' gossip is! We'd cover it up by saying, "Hey, did you hear the latest news about so-and-so? They..." I have heard some people say, "Did you hear the latest gossip?" But wow! They were very brave to say that. Obviously it didn't face them to actually admit they were gossiping, either they had worn their conscience thin or they were never taught in the first place that gossip is wrong.
Now if you knew me well, I wouldn't have to say this... But I hate gossip, I guess I've had enough people believe everything they hear about me and well, it makes for some bad attitudes and such like. Even when a person doesn't believe it, but comes and asks you about it anyway- either it'll make you cry or laugh that there's such a messed up story out about you.
For example, I'll use the most recent story out about me- one that really cracks me up- it's so off the wall something I wouldn't even consider doing. That's why it's so funny...
Yesterday morning when I took the guys to school we noticed that someone had done donuts in the middle of the parking lot. It was perfect conditions! Snowy, icy... Yeah, I agree, it probably was very fun! The boys desperately wanted me to, but... I didn't feel like being stupid.
(Now if you take that as me thinking you're stupid if you do, DON'T! That's not what I'm meaning! I understand guys like having fun & that's part of it!)
And then last night at PTA mtg.-
In which I had no desire of going to, but didn't feel like keeping the boys occupied for the whole evening-
nearly everyone had left and the principal was rounding up his kiddos- after he had finished putting on his son's jacket he turned around a just stood there- yeah, that awkward moment- when you know you should say something and you just don't know what to say! Then he gets this funny grin on his face and says,"Heard you were writing your signature out there in the snow on the driveway!" I probably gave him the blankest look- I'm like What!? I'm so lost, what are you trying to get at? Then he says, pointing at his wife, "Yeah, that's what her dad called it." I probably got an even blanker expression on my face but at least I was innocent! :) Then he said, "Your brother was telling us about how you were doing donuts on the drive this morning." And I'm thinking, "Yeah right! In his wildest dream I did donuts on the school parking lot!"
As it turned out- my brother did not say anything about ME doing donuts in the parking lot, except that he wanted me too, after seeing someone else had done it. And the story got messed up, and they believed I was the one doing the donuts!
No, it didn't hurt me, but it sure was funny!!
I had to think about all the stories I may have passed around in my lifetime that sounded true, but were a little tweaked, and they sounded just a little better if I emphasized the RIGHT words. (or should that be the WRONG words!?) :) No, I didn't really changed the story, and I didn't know if the story was exactly true, but, it sounded like something they would do and so I believed it and passed it on to my other friends who would like to hear this "amazing" story about so-and-so... And then it went on down the line and got those overly emphasized words changed to a synonym that made it sound a little worse, maybe a minor detail changed slightly, and then when it comes back to the person who started the story or even the victim of the story, it can hurt them very much. Especially if they're the kind to get hurt easily.
And in the case of the story above- he probably didn't change a thing. But he misunderstood what was being said and I guess I could've let it hurt me, but what would be the point? It would only result in a bad attitude towards him & I don't think that's the way a Christian is suppose to live- actually I KNOW that's the not the way. We are to love each other, and when you have a bad attitude-- you may-as-well plan on saying good-bye to love!
As for me- I have gotten myself hurt, others hurt, and even my authorities hurt by trying to stop gossip, but I know that I was trying to save the person from the embarrassment. I don't care how true the story was, I don't want that person hurting any more than they are! Many people gossip about people they cannot stand and so they're attitude towards them only gets uglier.
We can stop gossip if we determine in our hearts to not spread everything we hear about a person. It can hurt you both AND it also gives them the licence to spread ugly stories about you.